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Hoya Pachyclada Care Hacks That Work

Hoya Pachyclada Care Hacks That Work

With my Hoya Pachyclada it was love at first sight. It was a tiny plant sitting on the nurseryman’s shelf with chubby leaves and a single oversized umbel of the most gorgeous, seductively fragrant, white porcelain flowers hanging on its peduncle – as though it couldn’t handle the weight of its own beauty.

Since then, Hoya Pachyclada care has been a very rewarding gardening experience and has firmly cemented my love for Hoyas in general.

I grow Hoya Pachyclada for its highly prized waxy flowers. It has been giving me perfectly ball-shaped clusters of about 20-25 flowers between spring and autumn growing dormant in winters.

My gardener friend who lives in the tropics has reported flowering throughout the year. Even the grey-tinted green foliage on whitish stems stand out like a work of art, so I can’t quite make up my mind on whether I love the flowers or the foliage more.

You can grow Hoya Pachyclada for other benefits too. According to the University of Connecticut, Hoyas are great air purifiers that are particularly good at absorbing harmful volatile organic compounds.

It is often portrayed as a fussy grower but what I’ve gathered is that anyone can grow Hoya Pachyclada. Hoya Pachyclada care just needs a thorough grip on the requirements of slow-growing, evergreen, succulent types which is what this plant truly is.

Native to Thailand, Hoya Pachyclada care requires warm temperatures and humidity but there are hacks around it that I am going to take you through in detail.

 


 
How Not To Kill Your Hoya Pachyclada
 

HOYA PACHYCLADA CARE INSTRUCTIONS

 

Soil

To understand the soil needs for proper Hoya Pachyclada care it is important to know that the genus mainly occurs in tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia.

These are epiphytic herbaceous climbers, basally woody, and with twining stems that develop roots from the internodes. They don’t necessarily grow in a soil substrate in their natural environment and the roots are often exposed.

They draw nutrients from air, rain water, forest debris collected around the roots and decomposing bark of the host trees.

Don’t be daunted by all of this because you can easily mimic this when you grow Hoya Pachyclada at home.

Just use a potting mix with more than 50% of organic clumps like bark bits, charcoal, chunks of coco-husk or sphagnum moss, and the other 50% sterile garden compost and perlite.

This will give the roots just what they want – excellent drainage, aeration, moisture retention, and something to bind themselves around.

An easy Hoya Pachyclada care hack is to use a store bought orchid medium. Add bark or charcoal bits to it if you think it lacks that clumpy texture.

 

Light

The right amount of light is an important part of Hoya Pachyclada care. Forest life gives us important clues about the ideal light conditions to grow Hoya Pachyclada where they grow somewhat hidden from direct exposure to sunlight but in bright shade or dappled light.

If you live in the northern zones, you will want to grow Hoya Pachyclada in a sunny spot in the cold months where it gets close to full sun for half the day.

As long as you acclimatize it to the sun so that the plant does not burn it will appreciate the high light.

If grow Hoya Pachyclada indoors it needs to be as close to the window as possible. Closer to the equator, just bright shade or dappled/filtered light is good enough.

I discovered a fine way to grow Hoya Pachyclada along with other succulents. I’ve turned a large bright south-east or east window in the kitchen into a vertical succulent patch and grow Hoya Pachyclada right there throughout the year.

Now if you have a window like that your Hoya Pachyclada care becomes easy in the warmth of your kitchen where the plant can sit undisturbed throughout the year.

 

Watering

Hoya Pachyclada is a species that has developed succulence to survive a long dry season. However, unlike deserts succulents, you can grow Hoya Pachyclada with a bit of even moisture and humidity in summer months although they are quite happy and comfortable without.

I got a great results mimicking the moisture conditions of a plant’s natural habitat to the extent possible. My Hoya Pachyclada care involves once-a-week to once-in-ten-days watering cycle during summer ensuring that the roots dry out 50% between waterings.

A useful Hoya Pachyclada care hack is using stored rain water. During winters, I cut back drastically on watering.

The fleshier the leaves of the lesser watering needed to grow Hoya Pachyclada. If your plant is very young and has fleshy stems, a little more regular watering is required.

A mature plant with woodier stems can take draughts better. If the leaves shrivel up then perhaps you’re not watering enough.

Pro-tip: Make sure you water deeply, thoroughly saturating the root-ball and not water it slightly. This is to avoid build-up of mineral salts – a very important aspect of Hoya Pachyclada care. They cannot sit in water so empty your drip trays after excess water drains out.

Finally, watering is closely linked with soil when you grow Hoya Pachyclada at home. So, get the soil proportions right first of all.

 

Temperature

There’s a lot of internet material that gives rather confusing temperature ranges for Hoyas. This is because hoya species have widely ranging warmth requirements.

Being a succulent native to Thailand, Hoya Pachyclada care requires comparatively warmer ranges. In my experience, you should grow Hoya Pachyclada at lowest continual temperature never below 70°F (20°C), but the plants will happily live at temperatures over 95°F (35°C) for extended periods of time.

They are not frost tolerant in the least. This is why I recommend growing Hoya Pachyclada indoors all year long in comfortable room temperatures particularly if you live in cold regions.

The plant grows dormant in winter temperatures but survive if kept indoors.

 

Humidity

An important element of Hoya Pachyclada care is regulating humidity, as these plants belong to climes with moderate to high humidity. Exposed to heavy monsoon in their natural habitat, they in fact thrive in levels upwards to 60%.

If want to grow Hoya Pachyclada in a cold country winter months are going to be a challenge. It took me a while to understand that this plants is accustomed to high humidity and not necessarily heavy watering.

Bearing that in mind, make sure your winter Hoya Pachyclada care includes measures to ensure humidity, such as a humidifier. That said, they’re quite forgiving of dryness.

 

Fertilizer

Hoyas are light feeders. My preferred feeding method to grow Hoya Pachyclada is to go heavy on organic content right at the time of potting.

A lot of decomposed leaf and bark matter mixed with store bought organic manure does the trick. The reason I prefer organic feeds over chemical fertilizers, particularly for epiphytes like Hoya is because they are slow-release.

I would strongly recommend against using additional chemical fertilization. That said, during the growing months I am not opposed to the idea of giving it a diluted shot of orchid fertilizer say once a month.

This is just to induce blooms and again, I prefer using a liquid organic type that’s easy to dilute and doesn’t cause build-up of harmful salts in the soil. You must stop feeding the plant in winters.

The winter Hoya Pachyclada care must be limited to just moisture management.

 

Propagation

You can propagate and grow Hoya Pachyclada from herbaceous stem cuttings, woody stem cuttings or even leaves like in the case of Peperomias. They take root quite readily and reach a stage of flowering in about two years from cutting.

Professional growers are known to allow pods to dry on the plant, break open to collect seeds and propagate them through germination. But the seeds do not store well and need to be sown as soon as possible.

Another reliable way of propagating Hoya Pachyclada is through layering. This is indeed my preferred method simply because of its higher chances of success.

 

Growth

Even though Hoyas are technically “climbing vines”, I grow Hoya Pachyclada in a mounted pot. The plant gets rather top heavy for a hanging basket even though it’s a slow grower.

The ideal Hoya Pachyclada care hack is to stake the pot with strong support like a mini trellis and hold up the stems with twisty tapes.

The plant is a natural slow and compact grower so it takes about 2 years to reach about 12 inches (30 cms) high and doesn’t grow much taller than 24 inches (60 cms). The stems get woodier with age.

 

Pruning

Don’t prune the peduncles of dried flowers of a Hoya because the plant produces new flowers from the old peduncles. A lot of people tend towards occasional pruning particularly of dead flower heads.

This would be a mistake since you grow Hoya Pachyclada for the flowers. This plant lives to bloom.

By cutting away the flower stalks you’re making it work extra hard to produce fresh flower heads.

 

Potting

A good Hoya Pachyclada care hack would be to pot the plant in a terracotta planter. This is a great way to manage soil moisture for succulents.

Also, the weight of the pot needs to provide stability to heavy plant or it tends to topple.

Choose a planter that is compact compared to the size of the plant because the epiphytic root structures of these plants prefer a cramped potting condition tightly binding themselves to organic content. Don’t grow Hoya Pachyclada swimming around in a big pot.

Another Hoya Pachyclada care hack is to line the bottom of your planter with a thick layer broken ceramic bits or gravel. This helps with ease of removal with minimum damage to the plant when it’s time to repot.

While repotting try not to untangle the root ball of the hoya. Simply loosen the sides and lower the plant into a bigger pot, with a bigger stake and more potting mix.

 

HOYA PACHYCLADA PROPAGATION EXPLAINED STEP BY STEP

 

How to propagate Hoya Pachyclada through cuttings

  • Wait until June, just ahead of the growing season in the tropics. Use a healthy herbaceous tip cutting from a bug-free mother plant.
  • It must have about 3 leaf nodes. Pluck off the leaves from the lower node.
  • Let the cutting rest for a day until the cut forms a callous.
  • You can use rooting hormone powder but it normally sprouts even without.
  • Pop it in a good soil mix with good draining (can’t stress draining enough) in a 4” pot. 50/50 peat and perlite is a simple and effective rooting soil mix.
  • Keep the mix moist but not wet and never let it dry out. Keep the cutting in shade until the plant establishes itself.
  • Pro-tip: Group the pot along with other plants. This gives the cutting shade and much needed humidity.
  • Don’t disturb the cutting until established

 

How to propagate Hoya Pachyclada through layering:

This method is my fav because it’s non-invasive. You simply take advantage of the aerial rootlets at the stem nodes that develop as you grow Hoya Pachyclada.

  • Identify a low dangling stem with aerial roots.
  • Carefully lower this stem into the soil of the same pot or into another pot making sure the nodes with the rootlets are in the soil.
  • Hold it firmly down in the soil with hairpins. Careful not to snap the stem.
  • You could apply a bit of rooting hormone at the nodes along the stem.
  • Continue your Hoya Pachyclada care as usual.
  • In some time you’ll observe roots sprouting out of the nodes.
  • Once established you can simply cut its umbilical connection with the mother plant and let it grow into a separate plant.
  • Pro tip: DON’T constantly check for roots. Your chances of success improve if you forget about it for a few weeks.

A smart Hoya Pachyclada care hack is to keep propagating your plant and producing several baby plants as and when possible. Not every attempt will be to be successful. But this is your best hedge against winter losses. 

Seeds can be used as well, but it takes several months for the pods to dry out before they split open and throw out hairy flossy seeds. Only freshly harvested seeds germinate successfully.

 

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH HOYA PACHYCLADA

Shrivelling leaves: The plant is underwatered. Increase watering gradually.

Plant goes limp: The most likely cause of this is root rot. An important part of Hoya Pachyclada care is watering and soil. The plant prefers dryness. Therefore the soil has to necessarily be well-draining otherwise you’ll likely end up with a root rot. The second reason is the opposite of the first one which is that the roots died completely due to the lack of water.

Leaves discolour and fall off suddenly: This could be due to cold exposure. Just bring the plant indoors.

Old leaves discolour and plant looks dull and slow growing: Your plant is telling you that it isn’t getting enough nutrients. Give it a light balanced fertilizer to improve the NPK levels for a few weeks. Rainwater misting regularly is also helpful. If it’s a mature plant, you can repot it with a lot of good slow-release organic manure.

Individual leaves or stems shrivelling and falling off: Examine the underside of the leaf. If you see fuzzy white bugs stuck to the leaf this is a mealy bug infestation.

These nasties are a nightmare to get rid of. My best defence against these bugs is to keep checking the plant regularly, especially the underside of the leaves.

If I see that characteristic tiny white cottony bug stuck under a leaf, I just spray a fine jet of water and blast it off the plant.

Now if you’ve managed to let the bug spread into an infestation, the first step is still to clean the plant thoroughly with a water jet.

Things to watch out for – don’t drench the potting soil, don’t contaminate nearby plants with blasted bugs. So it’s best to carry out this operation far away from everything else.

After your plant is thoroughly cleaned up with no visible mealy bugs anywhere, you can treat it with a commercial insecticide or an organic soap spray.

If the infestation is limited, use an alcohol swab with an ear bud and apply on each bug. Time consuming, but effective.

Dry patches or burns on the leaves: These could be sun burns due to direct and harsh exposure to the sun. The right amount of sun is an essential element of Hoya Pachyclada care, something you’ll pick up with experience.

Not flowering: For those of you who grow Hoya Pachyclada for flowers this could be disappointing. The typical reason for this is too little light.

The other reason is obviously soil poor in nutrients. If it’s a soil problem adding a balanced orchid meal to the potting mix or any organic fertilizer should help.

However, my first advice would still be to give the plant enough light, preferable a lot of indirect sunlight and to be patient!

Hoyas are fairly resistant to pests but I would recommend regular application of horticultural oil or neem sprays as part of the Hoya Pachyclada care routine just as a preventive.

 

TIPS TO KEEP HOYA PACHYCLADA PROBLEM-FREE

Growing Hoya Pachyclada is all about striking a balance between too much and too little. Here are a few handy tips to keep the plant problem-free:

  • Water it like a succulent. Less is more.
  • Mist your plant with occasionally with rainwater only in the mornings. Foliar feeding of rainwater is what epiphytes do in their natural environment.
  • A bright spot and a lot of indirect sunlight is the best diet for blooms.
  • Don’t prune the flower peduncles. They will bloom again next year.
  • Feed it an orchid fertilizer during growing months.
  • Add pieces of deadwood, bark, coconut husk, charcoal, etc. to make the soil mix.
  • Use a small size planter because the roots like it cramped.
  • If you want to repot, do it in May/June during growing months.
  • Check regularly under the leaves and nodes for bugs and best to never let it get to a full blown infestation. If you spot mealybugs, serve them alcohol!
  • Don’t expose it to cold drafts or direct sun.
  • Winters, indoors.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOYA PACHYCLADA

 

Should I mist my Hoya Pachyclada?

Misting with rainwater is an effective form of foliar feeding recommended in Hoya Pachyclada care. Make sure you mist only in the mornings so that leaves have time to dry out, or they become susceptible to infections.

 

Is Hoya Pachyclada a succulent?

The plant is a succulent variety and it’s care requirements are similar to that of epiphytic succulents.

 

How old does Hoya Pachyclada have to be before they bloom?

When grown from cuttings the plants is ready to bloom within 2 years from taking root. However flowering is mostly a function of the right conditions and not necessarily age of the plant.

 

Does Hoya Pachyclada grow and bloom under artificial light?

Yes, they have been observed to bloom under florescent light kept on for about 12 hours a day. If you have low light issues this is your workaround.

 

Are hoya leaves toxic for pets?

Although Hoya plants are not toxic to cats or dogs, they could still make an animal sick. The digestive systems of cats and dogs are unable to break down the leaf sap of the hoya plant.

 

CONCLUSION

If you’re reading this it’s safe to assume you’ve decided to add Hoyas to your home garden. Anyone who likes growing succulents would find Hoyas a very rewarding experience. I would recommend that you set aside a whole bright south or east side window for succulents like these. Once you’ve wrapped your head around the care guidelines for Hoya Pachyclada, you can now add other varieties to your collection like Hoya Linearis, Hoya Wayetii , Peperomias etc.

Happy gardening!

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[…] Then there are the warm temperatures types that suffer in the slightest chill and need continual temperatures above 70°F (21°C), for e.g. Hoya Pachyclada. […]

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